WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

CSS Healthcare Services provides Community based health services to the young, the elderly and to Individuals with Developmental Disability. Founded in 1997, we have the ability to offer a variety of quality community-based services to our clients, which has greatly contributed to our growth and success.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Family Services of the North Shore

Kathleen Whyte, Manager of Human Resources / Accreditation Coordinator

Family Services of the North Shore is about to enter our third accreditation cycle with COA. Accreditation has provided us with a framework that enables us to demonstrate accountability to our clients, our funders and our donors. There is no question that the accreditation process and COA have benefited our agency.
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Purpose

Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.

FKC 15: Resource Family Recruitment and Assessment

Resource family recruitment and assessment ensures a diverse group of resource families can be prepared to meet the needs of children and their families.

Update:

  • Revised Interpretation - 10/31/17
    The interpretation was revised to include additional guidance for tribal collaboration in recruitment efforts for American Indian and Alaska Native resource families. 

Interpretation: Resource family recruitment should be structured as a mutual assessment and selection process in which prospective resource families can best determine if providing resource family care will be positive for their family and for children that could enter their care. Kinship caregivers who are completing the process of becoming licensed resource parents may already have children in their care, may be identified by their families, or may be identified through other family-finding efforts.

Interpretation: An organization that has responsibility for placing American Indian and Alaska Native children should work closely with tribes and local Indian organizations to establish eligibility criteria for resource families that are consistent with the norms of the tribe and identify resource families within the tribal community through joint recruitment efforts. Tribes and local Indian organizations may also be able to provide valuable support in assessing and approving resource families for American Indian and Alaska Native children.

NA The organization provides informal Kinship Care Services only or has no role in resource family recruitment or assessment.

Rating Indicators
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (HR 6.02) and training (TS 2.03); or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or  
  • Two or more Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Recruitment procedures
    • Resource Family assessment procedures
    • Resource Family assessment tool and/or criteria
    • Procedures for background, child abuse, and sex offender registry checks
    • Criteria for selection of treatment foster parents
    • Documentation of tribal participation in resource parent recruitment, when applicable
    • Recruitment materials
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Resource parents
    • Review resource parent records

  • FKC 15.01

    Recruitment involves key stakeholders including: 
    1. family foster care alumni; 
    2. current resource parents, including foster parents and kinship caregivers, when possible; 
    3. workers; 
    4. community leaders; 
    5. tribal representatives or urban Indian organization representatives; and 
    6. other organizations in the community.

    Research Note: The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA) prohibits the consideration of “culture” as proxy for race, color or national origin, however state child welfare systems are also required to develop diligent recruitment plans for foster and adoptive families that reflect the characteristics of the children in its foster care system.  Because of MEPA these plans must contain provisions that prohibit the denial of potential resource families not identified in the diligent recruitment plan.

    As one component of a diligent recuitment plan, culturally-sensitive recruitment has become more prevalent with the recognition that children and families can benefit when placement is with families who may be from the same community and/or have the same racial, ethnic, or cultural background. Some strategies that have been used to increase recruitment in communities of color include: 
    1. translating materials into relevant languages, 
    2. co-training with resource families of color, 
    3. conducting joint community outreach efforts, 
    4. engaging prospective families jointly with current resource parents, and
    5. building relationships to facilitate recruitment efforts with faith, civic, and ethnic organizations in the community. 
    In addition, literature suggests that recruitment efforts target: 
    1. friends and family of current resource parents, 
    2. individuals or families that will care for children who are difficult to place, including school-age children, youth, and children with special needs, and
    3. parents seeking to expand their family.

    NA The organization provides Kinship Care Services only.


  • FKC 15.02

    Recruitment efforts are planned, implemented, and evaluated to ensure suitable families are available for the children entering care.

    Interpretation: Planning should include a regular assessment of the qualities of families needed, recruitment resources available, and recruitment goals. Evaluation of recruitment efforts should include the cost-effectiveness of activities and the utilization of new resource families. 

    Interpretation: Generally, when board members, employees, or consultants of the organization express interest in becoming resource parents, the organization refers them to another provider. If the organization allows board members, employees, or consultants to provide resource family care, the organization must have a policy and procedures that address the circumstances under which this practice is allowed, conflicts of interest, confidentiality of client and resource parent information, evaluation of the home, and any other risks that have been identified by the organization.

    Research Note: The federal government advocates that organizations place children’s best interests at the forefront of recruitment efforts and consider all qualified families that can provide loving homes for children. Each year approximately 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system are awaiting adoption. 

    In addition to an increase in culturally-specific recruitment and other targeted efforts, organizations should develop strategies to increase knowledge and competence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and become fully welcoming and affirming of LGBT prospective parents. In states where it is illegal for LGBT families to adopt, organizations can advocate to remove legal and cultural barriers for LGBT adoption, with the goal of achieving permanency for all children. 

    A large body of research shows that LGBT parents are equivalent to heterosexual parents in their ability to effectively parent.

    NA The organization provides Kinship Care Services only.


  • FKC 15.03

    Prospective resource families are engaged in the recruitment process through:
    1. awareness of the recruitment-to-placement timeline and available supports;
    2. timely, sensitive, personal, and culturally-responsive follow-up at each step of the process;
    3. personalized contact with existing resource families; and
    4. accessible and inviting open houses, orientations, and training sessions.


  • FKC 15.04

    During the recruitment and assessment process kinship caregivers have the opportunity to:
    1. discuss their families’ stories and the experiences that brought them to caring for or planning to care for a kin child;
    2. discuss their concerns with becoming licensed resource parents; and
    3. learn how the program collaborates with kinship caregivers and supports relationships between kinship families, parents and extended families.

    NA The Family Foster Care program does not work with kinship caregivers.


  • FP
    FKC 15.05

    The resource family assessment considers factors that may impact the ability of resource parents to provide effective care and offer experiences that enhance healthy development, including: 
    1. personal characteristics; 
    2. motivation for providing resource family care and interest in adoption, if applicable; 
    3. willingness to provide responsive care for children with the characteristics and needs of the children in care; 
    4. willingness to support children’s ties to family, peers, and community; 
    5. family relationships and family functioning, including the perspectives of all adults and children in the home; 
    6. mental and physical health; 
    7. parenting skills, experiences, and beliefs; 
    8. social support networks; and 
    9. the home environment.

    Interpretation: The resource family assessment is a standardized process that meets legal requirements for homestudies. It should include an interview with all adults and children living in the home, including the identification of family roles as well as exploration and assessment of each person’s ability to contribute positively to a child’s healthy development. Household members should be interviewed separately to ensure each person feels comfortable to share freely.

    Research Note: In addition to the assessment interview, research has demonstrated the efficacy of using a standardized questionnaire or inventory to assess prospective applicants’ potential strengths and areas for development and support in the primary domains linked to fostering successfully.


  • FP
    FKC 15.06

    Resource family assessments are completed prior to placement, and are updated: 
    1. within two weeks of a reported change in the home composition; and 
    2. at least once annually.

    Interpretation: Children may be placed with kin on an emergent basis - including the same day as separation from their family - in order to facilitate family connections and minimize disruptions. Consistent with the Adam Walsh Act criminal and CPS background checks and same day preliminary safety assessments are required prior to placement. Issues that may be revealed on these checks does not necessarily preclude placement of children in relatives’ homes but should be one component of an overall assessment of relatives’ capacity and appropriateness to care for children. 

    Interpretation: Changes that warrant a follow-up assessment include but are not limited to: individuals who move in or out of the home; death or debilitating illness of a caregiver; structural defects in the home related to fire, flood, or natural disaster; or legal proceedings affecting the family such as eviction or divorce. The annual assessment update can occur in conjunction with the annual resource parent evaluation.


  • FP
    FKC 15.07

    To ensure resource families can provide safe and consistent care:
    1. all adult caregivers in the home receive health assessments prior to placement, or within 45 days after the first placement, and again when licenses are renewed; and
    2. all adults in the home receive criminal background, child abuse and sex offender registry checks prior to placement in accordance with applicable federal and state law.

    Interpretation: Organizations may have more flexibility to make exceptions around certain non-violent criminal or civil background histories for kin who are otherwise determined to be appropriate caregivers. Each situation should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Element (a) is not applicable for kinship caregivers who are not becoming licensed resource parents.

    Interpretation: Special circumstances, including the health needs of the resource parent, warrant more frequent assessment. The organization should consult with the local public health authority to determine if a skin tuberculin test should be included in the assessment. A written statement from a physician or other qualified health professional regarding the person’s health is acceptable to meet the intent of the standard. If the assessment indicates a mental health concern, the individual must also obtain a formal evaluation from a mental health professional.


  • FKC 15.08

    The organization selects treatment foster parents based on established criteria that include: 
    1. proven experience as resource parents, work experience in a setting such as a group home or residential center, or specialized training in treatment foster care; 
    2. three non-relative references; and 
    3. attainment of at least twenty-one years of age.

    NA The organization does not provide treatment foster care.

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